de Lange, W. P., de Groot, N. P. H. M., & Moon, V. G. (2016). Burial and degradation of Rena oil within coastal sediments of the Bay of Plenty. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 50(1), 159–172. http://doi.org/10.1080/00288330.2015.1062401
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10201
During the Rena oil spill, no data existed for New Zealand conditions on the likely depth of burial and the expected degradation of oil deposited on sandy beaches. Sediment cores were taken from 12 locations along the Bay of Plenty coastline c. 1 year after the Rena oil spill. No visible oil was detected in cores and trenches dug within the beaches. Chemical extraction was performed on 20 cm slices from the upper 40 cm of 26 cores, and the elutriates were analysed for the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The results were compared with known PAH fingerprints of Rena oil and its degradation products. Only seven samples contained some marker PAHs, and none had a complete Rena profile, indicating stormwater contamination. Despite extensive deposition of Rena oil on beaches, no evidence of ongoing contamination could be located, indicating that the clean-up and degradation were effective at removing the oil.
Royal Society of New Zealand
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. © 2016 Royal Society of New Zealand.